face makeup How to Fix Cakey Makeup Without Removing It

No one should have to suffer through a makeup look they don’t love.

May 23, 2022
How To Fix Cakey Makeup

You’ve completed your perfect \makeup look only to find that your beat has entered the cakey makeup territory once you’ve viewed it under different lighting. Unfortunately, when you’re wearing face makeup, cakiness is a very real issue that can occur. And if you’re on your way out the door, you may not have a lot of time to take it all off and redo it. 


Thankfully, all hope isn’t lost. If you notice that you’re sporting cakey foundation or your face powder needs a bit more blending, there are ways to fix it. Read on to learn how to fix cakey makeup without starting your application process from scratch.


Why Is My Foundation Cakey?

If your foundation looks cakey, there’s probably a simple reason. One of the main culprits of this makeup mishap is applying too much product. We totally get it — you want to make sure you provide your face with even coverage. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to overdo it with foundation. Celebrity makeup artist and L'Oréal Paris expert Sir John agrees.


“A lot of people go in with so much product, so number one, build your coverage — don’t lacquer,” he says. “Going in directly with product is just a recipe for disaster. No makeup artist ever starts complexion like that, but a lot of women do because they take their cues from makeup enthusiasts — not a real artist. That’s one of the biggest no-nos in the game.”


Whether you use a makeup brush, makeup blender, or your fingers to perfect your complexion, you want to make sure you blend a small amount of foundation at a time to avoid looking overdone. When it comes to how to apply foundation the right way, just remember that less is best, you can always add more if you need it.


Other reasons for cakey foundation include dry skin, not layering your makeup correctly, and not using the right skin care products. Skipping out on exfoliation is another factor that can cause cakiness. Always make sure you prep your skin by exfoliating and moisturizing to help makeup go on smoothly.


4 Tips for Fixing Cakey Foundation

We all make makeup mistakes from time to time. So, if you end up with cakiness, it’s essential to have a few fixes in your back pocket. Here are three ways to keep cakey makeup at bay:


1. Blot Excess Oil

Cakiness is often accompanied by oily skin, and if either of those is of concern to you, it’s a good idea to keep blotting sheets on hand. When you notice your makeup looks cakey or your skin looks shiny, gently blot with a sheet.


2. Correct With A Makeup Blender

A makeup blender or sponge, like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Blend Artist Foundation Blender can help soften your makeup to put an end to cakiness.

“Take a damp makeup blender — not soaking wet, so be sure to squeeze the water out — and start to manipulate and move things out of the way,” Sir John explains. “It's almost like a magic eraser.”  


Run your sponge under a little water, wring it out, then press it against your skin anywhere your makeup looks cakey.


3. Spritz With Face Mist

Face mists are one of the most enjoyable parts of any beauty routine — really, misting your face feels amazing — and they’re also really useful. It only takes a few seconds to spritz your face and fix cakey makeup. 


Keep a bottle of the L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Shake and Glow Dew Mist close by and spray your face anytime you’re experiencing cakey foundation, or when you simply need a midday makeup pick-me-up.

4. Loosen With Steam

Not surprisingly, steam can also help loosen up stiff, caked on makeup. It may sound really unusual, but Sir John says showering after your makeup process can be beneficial if your foundation is cakey.  


“If you’re on your way somewhere, go take a shower with the glass door open,” he says. “It’ll help break down some of that stiffness and [the makeup] will be a lot more emollient. You might have to use your blender to move things around but [the steam] will soften it and you can lightly set it with a loose powder afterwards.”


Editor’s tip: If you’ve already showered, try boiling a small pot of water. When the water is hot enough to emit steam, put it into a bowl and carefully let the steam waft towards your face to help loosen up some of that foundation.


5 Ways to Avoid Cakey Makeup

We all know that avoiding cakey makeup in the first place is the best option for keeping your makeup routine moving along without incident. If you’d like to cross cakey makeup off the list of beauty issues that plague you, check out these five ways to avoid cakiness altogether.


1. Don’t Rush Steps

If your foundation frequently looks cakey, the problem might actually be connected to your skin care routine. After you apply moisturizer, it’s important that you don’t skip straight to smoothing on foundation. 


Instead, you’ll want to give face lotions and creams a minute or two to dry before moving on. And don’t forget to use face primer, which helps you create a smooth base and avoid a cakey finish.


2. Choose the Right Foundation for Your Skin Type

Some foundations are more prone to cakiness than others. If you think the formula you’re using could be at fault for your ruined makeup looks, it’s time to switch to a lightweight option. We love the L’Oréal Paris Infallible 24 Hour Fresh Wear Foundation, which has a long-wearing yet lightweight formula.


You also want to be mindful of how a formula will show up on your skin type. If you have dry skin you may want to avoid certain powder foundations that will make dry patches look more pronounced and contribute to cakiness. The L’Oréal Paris Infallible Up to 24H Fresh Wear in a Powder covers like a liquid and is suitable for all skin types, including dry and sensitive skin. 


3. Use the Right Tools

How you apply your makeup matters. Instead of using your fingers, we recommend reaching for a designated foundation brush or makeup blender for a smooth, non-cakey finish.


4. Use A Waterproof Concealer

Like it or not, concealer can look cakey, too. Makeup typically starts to look cakey partway through the day, as your foundation and concealer begin to settle into lines and shift around. For that reason, using a waterproof concealer that’s sure to stay in place is a must. 


Grab the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Full Wear Concealer Waterproof, and dot it on under your eyes, using just enough to cover any visible dark circles.


5. Use A Light Hand

The number one cause of cakey makeup is layering on too much product. When you really cake on the product, it’ll be all too obvious that that’s what you did.


“Make sure that you’re sheering it out,” Sir John suggests. “I see so many people putting so much concealer directly on their faces. Try to use your hand as a palette and then start to manipulate the product on your face.” 


His advice is to use a light hand when applying face makeup, as a little bit of foundation, concealer, and face powder goes a long way. “If you’re using a really good product it’s going to give you the payoff that it’s touted to do so you don’t necessarily need to overcompensate by using too much of it.” 


Next: The Easiest Way to Fix Hair Color Mistake


Written by: Shalwah Evans, Photo Credit: Chaunte Vaughn